By Allan Brian Ssenyonga
Kivu is a lake with an interesting story to tell. Its calm waters are not only known to switch colours depending on its mood, it also brags of holding enough methane gas to solve the power problems in the region.
The same humility that this lake exudes with its methane gas treasure is the same humility that hits you once you discover the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
As you move around Gisenyi town in Rubavu district, you may miss this gem because there are no blinding billboards to direct you. The signposts are subtle in their message, perhaps because they don’t want you to just go to the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel; they want you to discover it, experience it and then live to tell the story.
The hotel sits by the shores of Lake Kivu in the town of Gisenyi, which is 160km from Kigali (20 minutes flight from Kigali International Airport) and a few minutes from the border town of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
It is surrounded by extensive tropical gardens offering a luxury escape from hustle and bustleof the city, especially over the weekend.
Lake Kivu Serena Hotel’s gardens are a favourite from those who cherish a memorable wedding in the gardens or closer to the water in the sand. However, the hotel also has enough conference space for an indoor event in case the weather decides to do its thing.
Quality facilities, services
Speaking of conference space, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel offers quality conference facilities for those looking for a suitable environment where to deliberate from. The conference hall has state-of-the-art public address systems as well as air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. For the more business oriented, the hotel has a business centre, a travel desk, plus taxi and limousine services.
The location of the hotel makes it a good pit stop for those wishing to go gorilla trekking in the famous Volcanoes national Park or an adventure along the Congo Nile Trail either in a 4WD truck, a mountain bike or just hiking. The hotel management can organise and book for you any tourism activity you may wish to indulge in, whether it is booking gorilla permits or an excursion out on the Congo Nile Trail.
Lake Kivu Serena also has Serena’s fine health facility, Maisha Health Club for those who know that being away from home is not an excuse to stay unhealthy. From the hectic gorilla trekking activities or from a hiking expedition at the nearby Mt Rubavu, one can walk into Maisha for that much needed massage to sooth any muscles that may be complaining about your life choices.
There is an awesome Lake View Bar and Terrance where you can just sit and enjoy your drink as you gaze at the lake waters reflecting the sky above or the sunset that creates a view that will be implanted in your memory long after you have left.
Then there is the Kiyaga Restaurant where the folks in charge will keep your taste buds in check with tasty dishes. Ziwani Beach Café and Bar also adds to the offerings you will find at Lake Kivu Serena Hotel.
When it’s time to succumb to sleep and lay down, the hotel has 66 luxury rooms that include executive suites and family rooms depending on what works for you. The rooms are built to make you enjoy a tranquil moment while away from home in that signature Serena Hotels’ hospitality.
Of course there is a swimming pool for those who love swimming in a pool even with a whole lake in their midst. There are other outdoor games you can try out while at Lake Kivu Serena like beach volleyball and different water sports. The little ones have their play area, complete with caretaker staff to watch over them to ensure their safety at all times.
When looking for a remarkable getaway for the weekend or longer, Lake Kivu Serena Hotel is a worthy experience.